Chinese Revolution, (1911–12), nationalist democratic revolt that overthrew the Qing (or Manchu) dynasty in 1912 and created a republic.
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China: The Chinese Revolution (1911–12)
The Chinese Revolution was triggered not by the United League itself but by the army troops in Hubei who were urged on by the local revolutionary bodies not incorporated in the league. The accidental exposure of a mutinous plot forced a number…READ MORE
Ever since their conquest of China in the 17th century, most of the Manchu had lived in comparative idleness, supposedly a standing army of occupation but in reality inefficient pensionaries. All through the 19th century the dynasty had been declining, and, upon the death of the empress dowager Cixi (1908), it lost its last able leader. In 1911 the emperor Puyi was a child, and the regency was incompetent to guide the nation. The unsuccessful contests with foreign powers had shaken not only the dynasty but the entire machinery of government.
The chain of events immediately leading to the revolution began when an agreement was signed (April 5, 1911) with a four-power group of foreign bankers for the construction of lines on the Hukwang (Huguang) Railway in central China. The Beijing government decided to take over from a local company a line in Sichuan, on which construction had been barely begun, and to apply part of the loan to its completion. The sum offered did not meet the demands of the stockholders, and in September 1911 the dissatisfaction boiled over into open revolt. On October 10, in consequence of the uncovering of a plot in Hankou (now [along with Wuchang] part of Wuhan) that had little or no connection with the Sichuan episode, a mutiny broke out among the troops in Wuchang, and this is regarded as the formal beginning of the revolution. The mutineers soon captured the Wuchang mint and arsenal, and city after city declared against the Qing government. The regent, panic-stricken, granted the assembly’s demand for the immediate adoption of a constitution and urged a former viceroy, Yuan Shikai, to come out of retirement and save the dynasty. In November he was made premier.
Had Yuan acted vigorously, he might have suppressed the uprising and so have delayed the inevitable. He dallied, however, and, by the end of the year, 14 provinces had declared against the Qing leadership. In several cities Manchu garrisons had been massacred, the regent had been forced out of office, a provisional republican government had been set up at Nanjing, and the archrevolutionist Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) had returned from abroad and had been elected provisional president.
In December Yuan agreed to an armistice and entered upon negotiations with the republicans. On Feb. 12, 1912, the boy emperor was made to abdicate the throne in a proclamation that transferred the government to the people’s representatives, declared that the constitution should thenceforth be republican, and gave Yuan Shikai full powers to organize a provisional government. The Nanjing authorities agreed that the emperor was to retain his title for life and receive a large pension. To unify the country, Sun Yat-sen resigned the presidency, and Yuan was chosen in his place. Li Yuanhong, who had come into prominence in Wuchang in the initial stages of the rebellion, was elected vice president. A provisional constitution was promulgated in March 1912 by the Nanjing parliament, and in April the government was transferred to Beijing.
The republic, established with such startling rapidity and comparative ease, was destined in the succeeding decades to witness the progressive collapse of national unity and orderly government.
The 1911 Chinese Revolution Essay
1156 Words5 Pages
The 1911 Revolution kicked out the Qing Dynasty and broke the barriers to different developments in China. However, the 1911 Revolution has only provided a framework of a republic and made changes in some particular aspects related to immediate problems and difficulties in society. Hence, the relationship between the revolution and the subsequent development of China was very weak. On one hand, I do not agree with the latter part of the statement that the 1911 Revolution brought new problems to China. The conflicts and problems that China suffered in the early/ mid 1910s were mainly due to the weakness of the military force, conflicting political organizations and disorder in society. On the other hand, I agree with the first part of the…show more content…
The New Army was the best trained and best equipped imperial military force in the Qing Dynasty. Therefore, Yuan Shikai, who was the commander of the New Army, could get the place of Prime Minister from Sun Yikxian after 1911 Revolution. Yuan agreed to a ₤25 million Reorganization Loan to support his army without parliamentary discussion and appointed officials of his own choice. However, like Yuan Shikai, officials such as Li Yuanhong and Duan Qiui did not have the military forces and power to control other regional military leaders. This resulted in the rise of warlordism and wars between regions always broke out. Violence and assassination became ways to change the political situation. Moreover, he revived the monarchical system and subsequently appointed himself as emperor. This conveyed that Yuan's behaviors destroyed the democratic system of the Republic. Due to his political actions, Sun and some activists founded the Chinese Revolutionary Party to oppose Yuan. Hence, Yuan Shikai was one of the major factors that caused social instability and failure of new democratic system of China.
Besides military weakness, conflicting political organizations with different political views were another major factor. In Guomindang, there were two sides of intellectuals – Sun Yatsen was militant while Hang Hsing and Wang Chingwei were conservatives. Sun did not agree with Huang's promotion of socialism and